At Sears, experienced merchant gets to work

When Sears hired Lou D’Ambrosio as CEO, some analysts raised questions about his lack of retail experience. Come what may for the struggling retail giant, there will be no similar questions about its latest hire, Ron Boire.

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears hired Boire as its executive VP and chief merchandising officer to oversee merchandising and retail stores for Sears and Kmart brands. Boire is the former president and CEO of the upscale, mall staple Brookstone. Before that, Boire was president, U.S. Toys, North America for Toys “R” Us, overseeing merchandising, marketing and operations for 600 stores in the United States. Also on his resume is an executive role at Best Buy.

An experienced hand is a much-needed tool for Sears in 2012, which announced plans to close 100 to 120 stores after a softer-than-expected holiday sales season. All hands are on deck to transform the company into a multichannel and digital retailing leader.

In a prepared statement, Boire said all the right things: “I understand the company’s challenges, but I am more persuaded by the company’s opportunities and strengths.”